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2022-23 Waterloo Vikings wrestling preview

2022-23 Waterloo Vikings wrestling preview


By Tom Nader

Publisher and Editor



John Foster

2nd year



Coaching Staff: Deagan Foster, varsity assistant; Tyler Ernst, varsity assistant; Isaaiah Smith, varsity assistant.

2021-22 Record: 5-2 duals; 3rd in EOWL Division 4; five district qualifiers; two state qualifiers.

Returning Lettermen (8): Dublin Porter, Jeremiah Willis, Rex Fryer, Aidan King, Jayden Hakin, Bradyn Robinson, Justin Fox, Patrick Willis.

Lettermen Lost (3): Mason Duncan, Zac Biltz, Victoria Krager.


The Vikings’ roster is comprised of a core group that have multiple years of experience,” head coach John Foster said.

“The majority of the team is made up by upperclassmen, which makes it nice for the newer, less-experienced kids to catch on quick by following the other’s lead.

“I feel like we can compete as a team in dual matches with anyone on our schedule, as well as see a lot of success individually at all of our tournaments,” Foster added.

A season of success will be predicated on the focus of improving every day.

“We need to show up prepared to compete every single day,” Foster said. “That means compete in the classroom, compete in the weight room, compete in the practice room and compete in matches.”



106: Dublin Porter returns to the same weight class that he had success in last year.

He also put in off-season work in both freestyle and Greco, which Foster said he “believes will help show a great deal of growth this season.”

113: Jeremiah Willis and Jack White will compete for the spot at 113. Willis wrestled at 106 last year and was new to the sport.

“The more time Jeremiah spends in the room, the better he will get as the season progresses,” Foster said.

White, a freshman, enters with a lot of experience already.

“Jack has a lot of potential and has been working hard to put himself in a position for a successful start to his high-school career.”

120: Rex Fryer, a junior, was off to a strong start a year ago for his sophomore season before an injury interrupted and ended his season.

Once he was cleared for training again, though, he went directly to work. He wrestled throughout the off-season.

“We feel like Rex had the potential to be a state qualifier last season prior to his injury, so we are looking for a healthy Rex to be one of our top performers this year.”



132: Freshman Sammy Russell is new to the Waterloo program, but does enter with experience.

“Sammy is a kid that has a ton of potential and with the right focus, can have a great season.”

138: Aidan King will start at this weight class and returns after a season that did have some success a year ago.

“Almost immediately following last season, Aidan committed himself to preparing for this season and it shows. He wrestled nonstop in the off-season and his wrestling has improved drastically. We are expecting big things from him this season.”

144: Anthony Smith will wrestle at 144 and is described by Foster as someone that “works hard in the room.”

“It shows that he really wants to improve,” Foster added.

150: District qualifier Jayden Hakin returns to wrestle at 150.

“Jayde really started to wrestle well during postseason tournaments last year and was able to get wins over top-level kids. He has worked hard in the weight room in the off-season to get stronger and his wrestling improves every day.”

157: First-year wrestler Chance Moore will get an opportunity at 157. Moore is an aggressive and strong wrestler.

“Chance is very coachable and is someone who gives you everything he has at practice. We feel if Chance continues to improve throughout the season, he has the potential to be successful at tournament time.”



165: A team leader as only a sophomore, Bradyn Robinson has a lot of experience.

“If he can stay focused on the task at hand and reaching his own maximum potential, he is going to find himself being very successful.”

175: Returning state qualifier Justin Fox is one of the Vikings’ team leaders.

“Just is a kid that is in every single match he wrestles regardless of who it is against or the situation,” Foster said. “He competes at all times, which makes our room better every day during practice and leads the way for our team during matches.”

285: Patrick Willis, who is a second-year wrestler, will be the Vikings’ starter at 285. He was a district alternate last season.

“Patrick has been working hard in the room so far this season to improve on last season’s performance.”



“Our experience and the level of competition in the room,” Foster said. “The majority of our team has several years of wrestling experience, as well as wrestling in the same room together for multiple seasons. This helps with the team chemistry. Also, the level of competition in our room is high and it shows from all of the kids every day in practice.”



Jack White, fresh.; Sammy  Russell, fresh.; Bradyn Robinson, soph.



“We have many, but our team philosophy this season is: COMPETE.

“Wrestling is a sport where the match is never over until the ref calls pin or the last second runs off the clock. We, as a team, are going into the season with “compete” on the brain. Win or lose, we need to block everything else out and just compete in that moment.”



“Our main concern is similar to a lot of smaller programs: Just stay healthy. We have a talented group of wrestlers this year that compete all season, but we don’t have anything for depth.”



The Vikings compete in the EOWL,but will also compete in the Portage County Tournament and the Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference Tournament.

For the Portage County Tournament, Foster said, “Aurora will attend this year and Rootstown is always good. Streetsboro is going to be tough, although I do feel we should be in the mix with those top-level squads this year.”

For the EOWL, Foster said, “South Range is always the team to beat and United has a strong team this season. I feel like we match up well with both teams so the league champ is a tough one to call this season.”

For the MVAC Tournament, Foster said, “Last season, we finished third behind Garfield and Jackson-Milton, but I feel we are much improved and have a shot to compete for the MVAC title this season.”

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